Vegan Italy Guide!
If you have been around a while, you may have caught our post and/or video on 22 Magical Vegan Spots in Italy a few years back. I am so happy we got to go back to Italy this summer and eat our way through new and exciting places and share an updated vegan Italy guide for you! Of course we did other stuff, but here is where I get to share all the food, because that’s why we are here, isn’t it?
Though last time we posted was pre-pandemic and this time is mid-pandemic, we tried to do our best to put a spotlight on food that we did take-away 99% of the time. When there was an opportunity to eat outside we did, and the rest of the time we did take-away for a picnic or to eat at home.
We explored some new towns and were super impressed with all the wonderful new finds. Sadly, a lot closed in-between now and our last trip. As usual, we tried some duds, and excluded those. Surprisingly, though reviews will insist some places were the most delicious, we didn’t agree.
The new-to-us places we spent time in this summer were Verona, Padova, and Pietrasanta. We had a boat-day on Lake, Iseo to avoid the crowds of Garda and Lecco. We also went to some old haunts in Milan, Bergamo, and Lucca. Luckily, we also had the chance to catch up with some lovely and talented friends, who happen to be pizza wizards.
Just a Little Backstory Before We Start…
This may be useful backstory information for some of you, so I am going to share a little about me before I dig into the goods. I haven’t eaten meat in 37 years, so when I eat a meat substitute, I basically have no reference as to what it’s supposed to taste like. Also, I have been vegan over 10 years, so I don’t really remember what cheese and eggs are truly.
In all honesty, I am never seeking vegan food that tastes like meat, it kinda of freaks me out. I stopped eating meat in the first place because I didn’t enjoy grinding flesh with my teeth. Little 5 year old me was 100% freaked out while eating chicken one day, and that was it for me. To my very Italian family’s horror, I never wavered. If something looks, smells, or tastes too close to a dead animal, I am out.
I feel this is important to mentions when I do these round-ups and even recipes! I am not looking to mimic meat, nor am I looking for as-close-as-i-can-get-to-meat meals, I am just looking for good food I can share with you. As in, it shouldn’t matter that it’s vegan, it’s just so-dang-good.
The truly exceptional & Fun stuff:
GingerGi VeggiePop restaurant / Via Pilade Bronzetti, 18, 35138 Padova PD, Italy
I am regretful I didn’t take any photos of the food at Gingergi. We must have eaten there a half dozen times during our stay in Padova. The food was fantastic (obviously), and interesting. The way it works is that you pick how many tapas-style dishes you want. They label it a “saucer” and when you have more than one, they call it a “tour”. We tried every single thing on the menu and I can honestly say you can’t go wrong.
Though you can’t order through any of the popular delivery apps, they have their own website with ordering and pre-ordering available. I like that they show photos because the food is very unique, it’s hard to picture what it will look like based off the description.
Peace ‘n’ Spice / Via Dondi dall’Orologio, 13, 35139 Padova PD, Italy
This place is another huge win for Padova. Truly tasty. The menu is limited, but it doesn’t matter because what they do, they do really well. We ate here and got the same thing each time. The hummus is the kind that’s super smooth and perfect and the hot sauce is addictive and the perfect heat. Even the rice is done really well.
They have their menu online, and I love that the vegan options are clearly marked. I also love you can “build a plate” if you aren’t keen on one of their pre-curated options.
If you are in Padova and LOVE flavor, this is a can’t miss. Staff is super nice and food is delicious, what more can you ask for?
Old England Pub – Pub Birreria Padova / Via Alessandro Manzoni, 51, 35126 Padova PD, Italy
This is a perfect vegan junk food place. We also ordered from here quite a few times! I loved that I was able to connect with them over google map messenger. It’s such a great way to order from places where they don’t get hit with huge third-party fees if you are willing to pick up. I love they keep their instagram updated with new vegan offerings as well.
Besides being wildly friendly, the Old English Pub has a dedicated vegan menu that’s creative and delicious. My hand down favorite pick was their Pulled Vegan Pork with a side of their vegan BBQ sauce. It’s the mont American meal I have had in a long long time.
Il Sesto Sapore / Via Muson, 18, 30036 Santa Maria di sala VE, Italy
We trekked outside of Padova to find this gem nestled it what seemed like the middle of nowhere. It was such a treat to eat outside and have food served warm and properly plated. It was a bonus that we timed it right and had the whole outdoor space to ourselves.
We really enjoyed our meal and the environment. The staff was informative and attentive and provided natural bug spray when they saw the mosquitos coming after us. Il Sensto Sapore has a small shop where I was able to stock up on snacks for Atlas and essential oils I ran out of for me. They have have a beautifully displayed dessert case with delicious treats and some takeaway options.
They are not just a restaurant, but also a culinary school. I would absolutely love to come back sometime and learn a thing or two from them.
Sicilian Goodness® – Padova via Roma / Via Roma, 121, 35123 Padova PD, Italy
I am Sicilian, so when some very specific stuff is available vegan, I jump. Growing up, there was a place far outside the city, deep in the depths of queens that had some vegan options I still crave to this day. It’s really hard to find Sicilian street food in the states, so when I saw this place, I was over-the-moon to see they had a few vegan options to take me back in time.
Though extremely limited, Sicilian Goodness has a vegan, eggplant arancino (rice ball) option (that happens to also be gluten free) they name “Norma”. At their second location, a bit outside town in Vigonza, they didn’t have the vegan option, but they did have caponata, which was slightly more sweet than I am use to, but I enjoyed it none-the-less.
The vegan Norma is very flavorful and I suggest eating it warm. It’s quite filling for such a little thing. My favorite way to eat arancino is with warm red sauce, so that’s what I did and it was brilliant.
So if you are like me and you want a little Sicilian kick, I would try this place out!
Ristorante Vegano Biologico La Lanterna / Piazzetta Portichetti, 6, 37123 Verona VR, Italy
A beautiful town outside Padova just an hour is the popular Verona. Known more for Romeo and Juliette than vegan food, it’s a tourist spot that has bent the vegan knee and accommodated the crows with delicious offerings.
La Lanterna was recommended by a friend, and it was a fantastic recommendation. We were able to delight in the food twice, and I regret not going more. Don’t mix up Ristorante Vegano Biologico La Lanterna with La Lanterna (the non-vegan restaurant in Verona).
They have a small outside area, and a decent sized dining room. There is a small pay parking lot right in front, which is always a bonus if you are driving.
The menu is varied, and the food is fresh and delicious. Even though we showed up very early, before opening, people were waiting outside to enter, and for good reason.
Once we did takeaway and another time we ate there, and both are a fine option. The food travels well and is just as delicious if you want to go picnic in the beautiful Verona or can’t snag yourself a table.
Nòna Ninì Vegan Home Restaurant / Via Laffranchi, 12, 25038 Rovato BS, Italy
We met these incredibly kind people on our first venture to Italy. We had been following along on Instagram, watching them make their pizza magic for a while, so when we were close enough to their home kitchen, we reached out to book a reservation, but they were not open during out stay. Fast forward, they invited us over for brunch, and we because fast friends.
Marco and Alessandra are some of the most kind and warm people I have ever met. It doesn’t hurt that they can make pizza a heavenly experience and are talented in so many other ways. Needless to say, we had to stop by the home kitchen again to say “hi” and hang out with their friends they introduced us to, who also happen to be vegan and wonderful at making suggestions on where to go and what to eat.
If you have the chance, Nona Nine posts on instagram what they are up to and you can taste their amazing offerings a variety of ways, including workshops. If you want to learn from real talent, these are the people.
Leccornie / Via Camillo Ugoni, 1, 20158 Milano MI, Italy
Do you like sweets? This unassuming place may be what heaven looks like for you. I can not explain the pure joy I had felt finding this miracle. The owner is not quite an English speaker, but we did just fine as he fed me free samples while I said “One of each please!”.
Reassuring me over and over that everything was vegan, while showing me his “vegan” tattoos to prove his authenticity, I was shocked how incredible these traditional Italian cannolis and pastries were. It was basically a dream to eat a cannoli, it’s been quite a while.
A little on the outskirts of Milan center, this is worth the extra effort.
TENOHA RAMEN CLUB / Via Vigevano, 20, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
Even though we wrote about this place in our last Italy food round up, it’s worth revisiting because now that Joey is vegan, he ordered the vegan ramen and is happy to report it’s just as good as the non-vegan ramen. Somehow the staff remembered us from nearly three years ago
There is limited seating outside, but the street isn’t over crowded for Milan, so it’s a nice spot to linger and slowly savor delicious ramen.
Tenoha Ramen Club is connected to the Tenoha shop and Cafe, which are a treat if you are looking for interesting gifts for yourself or someone else. It’s well curated with a variety of items, including Japanese treats, stationary and clothing.
Brezel Shop / Via Roma, 101, 35122 Padova PD, Italy
I am including this pretzel shop because it was such a hit with our son. Huge vegan pretzels are available street side from Brezel Shop, making them an easy win when you don’t want another gelato. We had the rosemary and the plain. Though I love the flavor of rosemary, they pieces were too stick-like to enjoy, so I would try the other vegan options, where we very good, super huge, and great for sharing.
Sementis / Via G. Garibaldi, 17, 55045 Pietrasanta LU, Italy
This wildly charming restaurant in this picturesque town is not only pretty to look at, but incredibly delicious. We had the pleasure of eating here twice, and honestly I could eat here every single day if given the chance.
The offerings are perfect, nothing overwhelming and each dish we had was incredible. Pictured below is the raw vegan taco, among one of my favorite options as a starter. Also, it was great to eat some Italian options, which is strangly more difficult to find when eating vegan in some parts of Italy!
There is lovely seating outside and the place fills up rather quickly, so we had to do take away both times, which was not a problem. If you go to Pietrasanta, I suggest you give this place a try for sure!
Amasia Sustainable Living / Via Padre Eugenio Barsanti, 18, 55045 Pietrasanta LU, Italy
While I am gushing over Pietrasanta, I must include Amasia in the “go-eat-there” list because it’s basically a dream situation. Tiny cafe, with super sweet compassionate owner who makes outstanding food for a great price, right in the middle of town.
It feels like a secret, slightly tucked back off the main trip, but all the good energy from Peitrasanta makes it to this cozy nook. The menu faces the street on a chalkboard hanging by the tables and honestly we couldn’t have predicted how delicious it would be based off the unassuming set up.
The owner was incredibly kind, and made our son a special dish to his very-picky liking. I am sad we found this spot at the end of our trip, otherwise we would have eaten here for lunch daily!
This is certainly not the extent of what we ate during our time in Italy, but it’s the best of the best we found beyond our first round up. Sadly lots of places closed in three short years, but also there was clearly a bunch of new stuff to discover and enjoy!
As usual I take a cooking class when we travel to build my skills in the kitchen. This time I learned from Vegan Pink Soul, who spent the morning teaching me new skills and recipes I have become addicted to!
I shared this recipe I learned from her, and it’s been a winner ever time we make it for friends!
Did you make it to Italy this summer? Find any amazing vegan food? Please share below!
Great article with beautiful pictures. Are you the photographer?
Yes! Thank you so much!